LED TV History

January 19, 2010 by

It is interesting to delve a little into the history of LEDs and how far they have come to reach us. The British researcher, H.J. Round gave account of light-emitting solid-state diode, in 1907. Unfortunately, that discovery lay dormant for many decades. Although other researches have been published independently, nothing much came out of them, and they remained undeveloped for a very long period of time. Many years later, in 1962, a glimmer of hope became visible when Nick Holonyak devised the very first practical LED. He was then working for General Electric Motor. The viability of LEDs was obvious and soon these light-emitting diodes were sold in the market.

When LEDs became a commercial commodity in the 1960s, they were red in color. Initially, they were utilized in cheap equipment for testing purposes and in the laboratory. They later found their way into more sophisticated household appliances like telephones, radios, calculators, watches and televisions. The technology level at that time only allowed the red LEDs to illuminate a very limited area, thus reducing them to be used solely for indication purposes. However, further developments in technology elevated LEDs to be placed in more equipment and appliances as its ability to illuminate had improved dramatically.

In the beginning, LEDs came in packages of 5mmT1-3/4 and 3mm T1. These packages were common and they defined the way most of the LEDs were produced. However, with the increasing need for greater power, the requirement for packing has become more intricate. This is due to the fact that higher power increases the level of heat. Therefore, it is highly essential for the enclosure to be tailored for heat dissipation purposes. The packages made available today are manufactured with modern technology, so much that they take on a totally different look. This has been made possible due to technological advancement in the last decade that has enabled these light-emitting diodes to conform to the terms of general lights.

Closer to our world and times, one of the pioneering companies to piece LEDs into television technology is Samsung. The jargon, LED TV, was first introduced by Samsung, as they creatively utilized the term to describe the common LCD televisions after fitting them with LED backlighting. It is a known fact that when a product is commoditized, its price becomes determinant upon the game of demand and supply. When LCD televisions became common and its price started to decline, companies are compelled to do something to boost sales. Thus, Samsung concocted a new term to gain market attention for a new species of television; a product of the newest technology. This strategy is widely commented upon as a brilliant marketing move to ‘reinvent’ something that is already available and ‘transforming’ it into something new. Even though only a small aspect of it can be credited to the use of LEDs, just the name ‘LED TV’ has ushered the world into a new era of televisions.

Although the term ‘LED TV’ was presented to the world by Samsung as its Edge-LED lit LCD televisions made their debut in 2009, Sony is actually the first company to manufacture a LCD TV. In 2008, Samsung had already introduced the new range of 46 and 55 inch BRAVIA KDL-XBR8 series which utilized RGB LED backlighting. Sony is also given credit for manufacturing the first flat panel monitor which used Edge-LED lighting, in that same year. However, the use of LED backlighting was used by Samsung in is line of LN-T81F series, in 2007 and A950-series in 2008. Not before long, other companies such as Sharp, LG and Vizio jumped onto the bandwagon and began manufacturing LED-backlit High Definition Televisions that were made available in the market in 2009. A new range of LED HDTV, which was its own, was introduced by LG. As for Sharp, the AQUOS LC-XS1US series was greatly publicized. Besides that, Sharp also takes pride in launching the first 52 and 65-inch HDTV’s that are equipped with LED back-lighting

The term ‘LED TV’ has caused much hype and controversy by both journalists and the technologically savvy. This is because they find the term misleading and may throw consumers into confusion. They have good reason to come up with this conclusion as LED technology is much more than simply lighting the back of a common LCD. There LED technology is much more complex. However, Samsung and Sony, along with the other companies that propagate the term, do have their justifications. They contend that the term serves its purpose as the LED TV does utilize LEDs, thus it deserves the name. They also argue that if viewed from the aspect of LED TV’s technical advantages, their benefits are undeniable in comparison with the common LCD. Thus, these companies continue to widely use and promote the term LED TV.

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